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Millions of people in Germany are overburdened by housing costs

TYour rents and high house prices make it difficult for many people in Germany. Around 11.4 million people lived in households that were financially overburdened by high housing costs in 2019, the Federal Statistical Office announced on Thursday. That is almost 14 percent of the population. The authority sees an overload of housing costs when a household spends more than 40 percent of the available income on housing – regardless of whether the person concerned is renting or living in their own four walls and paying off a loan, for example.

On average, the population in Germany spent around 26 percent of their disposable household income on rent and ancillary costs or the maintenance of their home ownership last year, according to the Wiesbaden statisticians. In 2014, however, the share of housing costs in disposable household income was higher at 27 percent.

The overload rate has also decreased slightly since 2014. At that time around 16 percent of the population (12.7 million) spent more than 40 percent of their disposable income on housing. The good economy and the long booming labor market have increased incomes, which cushioned high rents and property prices.

In a comparison of the EU countries, people in Germany, where a large number of people rent, are hit hard by high housing costs. The situation was more difficult only in Greece (overload rate 36.2 percent), Bulgaria (16 percent) and Denmark (15.6 percent). In the Netherlands and Spain in 2019, less than 10 percent of the population spent more than 40 percent of their disposable income on housing. In Malta and Cyprus, the overload rate was even below three percent.

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